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CASE

Loblaw Companies Limited: Preparing for Wal-Mart Supercenters

ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS

1. What are the defining business and economic characteristics of the Canadian supermarket industry? What is the industry like? 2. How is the Canadian supermarket industry changing? Identify the 3-5 primary underlying drivers of change in the industry and discuss how those forces individually and collectively are changing competition in the industry. 3. Identify the 3-5 factors that determine success for supermarket operators such as Loblaw. 4. What does a SWOT analysis for Loblaw Companies reveal? Does the company have any identifiable core and/or distinctive competencies? 5. Assess the effectiveness of the actions taken by John Lederer and his executive group to prepare Loblaw and The Real Canadian Superstore for coping successfully with the added competitive pressures posed by WalMart Supercenters. Are these actions likely to prove sufficient for Loblaw to maintain its market position and financial performance? 6. How well is Loblaw's strategy working? What is your assessment of Loblaw's recent financial performance? 7. What does a strategic group map reveal about Loblaw's position vis-à-vis Wal-Mart's position in the industry? How are Loblaws, Fortino, and The Real Canadian Supercenter store formats positioned to compete with Wal-Mart? Which format is likely to be the most direct competitor? 8. What issues should Galen Weston Jr. be most concerned about? Which should have the highest priority? Why? 9. What specific actions should Loblaw take to improve its competitiveness? How might Lowlaw exploit its local knowledge of the Canadian supermarket industry to defend against Wal-Mart's entry?

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